Sunday 17 March 2019

96 hours in Amsterdam


It was two years and a week since I last few the 30 minute journey to Amsterdam. If you read my last post from 2017, then you'll know that my 3 day visit was a tad different to this year's version. This time we boarded the plane for a friend's birthday, and it included three couple total. Two of the couples stayed at an Air B&B and one at a hotel not too far away. I wish I'd had gotten more photos of this place because I really could not complain at all. The host lived upstairs so was waiting by the door when we arrived. The apartment was clean, with a large living/kitchen area, two bedrooms and a walk in shower/loo room. It was situated just west of the Rijksmuseum and Museum square. We walked everywhere instead of the trams, which I actually think along with the bikes, have gotten far scarier than I remember. 

Sunday saw our arrival, a 20 minute uber ride to the apartment and my first proper realisation on what a 'coffee shop' really is. I lasted 30 seconds by the door with my coat across my face before gagging in the street and calling my mum for comfort. Weed smells, it's not my thang. We visited the Anne Frank House on Monday morning and if I'm honest, I expected more. It's so very much hyped up, but the only feeling I got from it was that of claustrophobia from the many many queues inside as people walk around extra slow. The house itself is rather large, some parts rebuilt for museum purposes clearly, but literally nothing in there. I'm aware that the Nazi's had all the furniture removed after the family had been captured, but having nothing but the walls led to it feeling like one big empty room. Anne's part of the house was across two floors, a little staircase and boarded up windows. I wanted to feel something, like emotionally, but with only photos of recreations, and nothing actually in the room, plus the amount of people inside, left me feeling quite disappointed. It's something to say I've done though. 

We wandered the streets on the sunniest day of the trip, canal photo taking and popping to an Irish pub for a drink. We sat outside in a little bar cafe with a Coke and chips (boys with beer obviously) and people watched for an hour. We found a corner shop sweet shop, and spent a good 25 euros or so on pick and mix. When in Rome *Amsterdam. Heading back for a nap (4 or so hours of one) before myself and Jay walked down to the Rijksmuseum and it's bar for some photos. Dinner that night included an Ubereats delivery of the best chicken strips and chips we've ever had. Period. Once everyone had eaten, we walked down to the Red Light district. Tourist central and an odd experience if you've never seen it. Full of lads trying to convince their pal to part with their cash, and semi naked ladies waving at your boyfriend out of their windows. Lovely. 

Tuesday began with a pancake hunt. We sat down for maybe 3 seconds in an Instagrammable, hipster looking place, with a queue out the door. It's very healthy, no soft drinks menu wasn't for us and we began the 20 minute walk to the place I'd visited last time for some unhealthy comfort food. We sat down at The Pancake Bakery and I'd ordered what I had a few years ago, the chicken, cheese and mushroom pancake, whilst Jay finally got his nutella and strawberry one. The place is 10/10 in it's cosy little shop next to a canal. We walked to Museum square for a quick drink at a German ski bar before heading back to decide on dinner. We decided to cook our meal since our b&b was self catering. A fancy looking steak (or chicken for me) dinner with candles for the ambience. Also quick tip, the Albert Hein is similar to our M&S and you can tell the quality was better than the other supermarket we went to for supplies on the first night. They also let you squeeze your own orange juice from real oranges. Fancy.

In the evening we went to the Three Sister' pub, the one I'd been too last time. The town was so quiet this time, bar the football watching punters. We then headed back to the square for a drink in the only pub we'd seen with a pool table, sussed out on our earlier trip, but once the English football games started and the place became rammed, we wondered for a bit before settling in a lovely little *no football playing* bar, with a few middle to older aged people. Bliss. We grabbed a quick Burger King on our way back, just a brownie (of dreams) for myself, before heading back to bed.

Up at 8, we had packed and were ready to leave the apartment for a while as the owner kindly allowed us to keep our bags there whilst the cleaners were in. We had a last little walk around town before grabbing a tacky keyring to add to my collection, and sitting in McDonalds before grabbing everything and heading to the airport for a 6 hour wait for the plane. And I think that sums it up really.

I realise now that this trip was full of food and drinks. All for the culture no?


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